The more time you spend with your girlfriend, the harder you find yourself falling for her. Finding someone who gives you those butterflies can be exhilarating. But before making any big decisions, there are five important questions you should ask and discuss together.
How Do You Feel About Children?
Don’t just ask your girlfriend if she wants children. Also ask how she wants to raise those children, suggests Karen Sherman, psychologist, author and host of the radio show “Your Empowered Relationship.” Do you have a similar outlook on discipline and life lessons? How about sports and commitment to education? Talk about these subjects now to determine if you can see yourselves one day raising children together.
What Are Your Views on Spending?
Finding out if you have compatible spending and saving habits can save time and conflict in the future, explains Susan Piver, author of “Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say 'I Do.'" Find out how your girlfriend feels about future finances and whether she thinks committed couples should have separate or joint accounts. Take this opportunity to discuss the current debts you both carry and your plans for paying them.
What Are Your Future Career Goals?
Plenty of people have five and 10-year career goals, but they won’t always open up about those ambitions unless asked. Work can take a big part of your life though, which makes it important to find out what your girlfriend's future plans entail, according to relationship coach Kim Leatherdale. If she is on track to become partner at her law firm, for instance, you may have many lonely nights while she is working late.
What Are Your Feelings about Faith and Religion?
Taking the time to discuss your joint outlooks on faith and religion can help you determine if these topics will be a source of conflict. Even if you are of the same faith, there are still questions to be asked, according to Piver. Discuss things like level of commitment and plans or expectations for future holidays. How much compromise are you willing to make in terms of religious traditions, and how open will your families be to allowing that compromise?
What Do You Want Out of a Future Spouse?
While this question may seem presumptuous, it is really a way for you to assess whether or not you are the type of person your girlfriend is looking for long term. You should be willing to talk about your vision of that future partner, as well as what you think a successful marriage looks like. Take this opportunity now to find out if you are on the same page regarding a happy and lasting union.